Zimbabwe First Lady Entangled in $1.4M Jewelry Scandal

Mark Babatunde December 12, 2016
Photo Credit: Nehandaradio

Jamal Ahmed, a jewelry merchant in Zimbabwe, has approached a High Court to order First Lady Grace Mugabe off his properties.

According to Nehandaradio, Mrs. Mugabe seized three Harare properties reportedly belonging to the Lebanese jewelry dealer, after a more than $1 million diamond ring purchase turned sour.

In 2015, Mrs. Mugabe reportedly placed an order for a diamond ring — worth about $1.4 million — from the Ahmed for her 20th wedding anniversary with President Robert Mugabe.

The ring was delivered as commissioned; however, for an unknown reason, Mrs. Mugabe decided she did not want the ring, returning it and then demanding a full refund.

Ahmed reportedly promised to refund the money but requested additional time in order to raise the money since he had already remitted it to a third person’s account.

In his court filing, Ahmed adds that he also delayed because it is unlawful to pay the money in to Mrs. Mugabe’s Dubai account since “any refund would have to be done in Harare through the account from which the original funds had come as a refund in Dubai could easily be seen as an externalization of funds, and I did not want to be party to anything that would appear illegal.”

Since then, Mrs. Mugabe has allegedly forced the Harare-based businessman in to exile with threats of bodily harm if he does not repay the money. In addition, Mrs. Mugabe has reportedly seized three of Ahmed’s Harare properties, one in Pomona and two in Avondale.

Court documents reveal that Ahmed has filed an application, demanding Mrs. Mugabe vacate the three properties she seized from him. The properties are currently being secured by members of the presidential guard.

A Controversial Figure

Mrs. Mugabe is no stranger to stirring controversy with her frivolous lifestyle; in fact, she has long been nicknamed “Gucci Grace” by her fellow countrymen. In 2003, reports emerged of how she spent $120,000 on a shopping spree in Paris, and in 2009, she elicited international outrage, when she assaulted a Times photographer who took photos of her during a shopping trip in Hong Kong.

Mrs. Mugabe currently has travel sanctions imposed on her by the European Union and the United States for her role in the Mugabe regime. The sanctions also include a freeze on all assets and properties she may have in both regions.

Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: June 19, 2018


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